Last Nov. 3, my boyfriend Lars and I arrived in Bali, at 8:30 am in the morning, with only about 2 hours of sleep (from excitement!), and to be sure that we do not miss our early outbound flight which was at 4 am.
We’ve already contacted Dada Surya months before our arrival, to arrange a tour of Bali, and we also requested for airport pick-up.
First thing that we did when we got to the airport was do a mandatory selfie 🙂 :p Then of course after passing through immigration, we got Bali maps and Bali magazines for tourists, to have more idea about what they have to offer.
As we were walking in the airport, I felt a little dizzy and ‘floating’ due to lack of sleep but I was so happy to be there 🙂 I noticed how beautiful Bali airport was, it was brand new and the architecture was similar looking to a temple.
[November 3, 2015 – Lars and Dada Surya exiting the airport]
Lars and I decided to exchange some of our money in the airport money exchange kiosk, and felt like millionaires after.
100 usd is a little more than 1 million in their currency. On that day, we got around 1,360,000 IDR in exchange for 100 usd.
Shortly after we exchanged our money, we went with Dada Surya (our tour organizer) to begin the tour.
Dada Surya, is a jolly native Indonesian who is also conversant in Tagalog, English and Japanese. As a frustrated mult-linguist, I am just amazed!
He knew that we were hungry and wanted to grab breakfast first, so he took us to a delicious warung near the airport called “Warung Pojok”, serving Indonesian-Chinese food, cafeteria style with lots of options.
Below are a few of the options that we had. It was like a mini-buffet, but the style in this warung is you pay for what you get, and the quantity of food that you get.
I made a vegetarian nasi goreng, but I was too hungry that time that I forgot to take a picture! It was good though, I added boiled egg, dilis, tofu, and some vegetable dish. Lars picked something similar to mine, and for the two of us, we only paid around 35,000 idr for the filling-breakfast [roughly 120 php]
After our breakfast, we drove to UC Silver – a huge Silver and Gold store with marvelous, high quality jewelry inside. This is the place to go buy yourself or someone, a special gift that they can cherish forever.
The prices were quite expensive, but at the same time, it is a touristy place, and the jewelry were unique. All of them were hand-made by hard-working locals. [Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures inside]
We got to see the process of how their silver jewelry is made. We went to the workshop, which looked like a run-down dota den/internet cafe. Yet in this area, is where hundreds and maybe thousands of silver jewelry is processed to perfection. These Balinese staff are impressive with their excellent jewelry-making skills.
* I wanted to try making something as well *
Some earrings to undergo further processing – polishing and more quality control
Next stop – Teba Sari
After the Silver and Gold store, we went to a small coffee farm called Teba Sari which offers Bali Coffee and a special type of coffee called Luwak Coffee.
There is a local tour guide to explain how coffee is made, where it is from, and how luwak coffee is made.
The animal inside the cage is a “luwak”.
The Luwak animal makes “luwak coffee” out of the digested coffeebeans that it ate, and processed in its stomach, then eliminating as poo. The coffee beans eliminated from the luwaks are cracked and boiled many times for safe consumption. It is considered a special type of coffee, and is one of the most expensive coffees that you can find.
[Luwak Coffee beans to be further processed.]
At the end of the short 5-10 minute tour, you will be escorted to a table and offered a tray with small cups of tea and coffee for free taste. * except for the luwak coffee
Lars liked the ginger tea the most.
We were also given complimentary chocolate to try – milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and vanilla chocolate. All of them being sold by Teba Sari in their shop.
From the complimentary drinks and chocolate, I liked the Spice Chocolate drink (like Chai latte), as well as the Vanilla Chocolate.
TIP – try the coffees, teas and chocolate for free. If you want, also try the Luwak coffee for 50,000 idr a cup (around 175-200 Php), but do not buy the products from their souvenir store as it is over-priced and not fresh. I bought a block of their vanilla chocolate and a small stash of spiced chocolate. Converted to pesos I spent around 900 php there, not being familiar yet with the actual prices and conversion rates… You can buy chocolates, teas and coffees at a much cheaper price elsewhere (like Ubud market or Coco supermarket. Make sure to haggle in Ubud Market)
Third stop – After having a relaxing and energizing cup of tea and coffee, we went to a large temple called “Goa Gajah Bedulu” also known as Elephant Cave temple. The entrance fee here is 10,000 IDR per adult.
Temples are holy grounds and no one is allowed the area if you are wearing shorts/short skirts. Hence, Lars can be seen in the following pics wearing a manly long sarong. The temple will be the one who will provide a sarong if you are not prepared with proper attire, so bear in mind that you don’t need to be pressured to buy a sarong in the area.
Bali has a lot of statues like these. The Balinese are devoted and respectful to their gods and goddesses and will often do offerings, twice a day, if not once a day.
That’s why in Bali it is common to see offerings in streets, cars, outside stores, in front of a shrine, in the comfort room, and other places (see pic below)
(Me, inside a Hindu Temple, in Goa Gajah/ elephant cave temple)
A tour in this area will take you around 30-45 minutes, maybe almost 1 hour if you add shopping and bargaining at one of the stalls selling wooden crafts.
Majority of the Balinese people practice Buddhism-Hinduism religion, hence the wooden crafts with the unique gods and buddha.
Lars and I wanted a wooden souvenir from Bali and decided to buy from one of the stalls here. He got his for 80,000 IDR, while I got mine for 60,000 IDR.
[wooden Sanskrit symbol for Om on the left is what I picked, On the right, is Lars’ choice]
“Om” is a common mantra which is the universal vibration, and by simply chanting om, will bring positive effect to your mind, body and spirit, just like saying a prayer to God. I don’t usually use the mantra Om, but I find the symbol beautiful.
While touring this area, it was actually around lunch time already, so the sun was scorching hot, and I was getting all oily and sweaty, but we tried to explore as much as we can….
Some other pics from this area –
Next Stop – Our Lunch stop! 🙂
By the time we were done with the tour, all of us were already hungry.
Dada Surya drove us to a beautiful restaurant called “Warung Dewa Malen”
I ordered a vegetarian rice meal called “Gado gado”, copying the order of Dada Surya, as I was unsure of what to order, while Lars ordered Vegetable Curry. The food we ordered was nothing special, but what was good here was the dessert –
It is a special rice dessert with sweet coconut sauce and banana, topped with mint.
After lunch, Dada Surya wanted to show us different types of wood carvings made out of different types of wood by highly talented local Balinese artists, so of we went to our 4th destination for the day, to Daging Wood Carver, located in Mas, Bali.
Dagin Wood Carver
We arrived in a store, where just outside, about 6 local artists were busily carving beautiful pieces of art, from wood.
Beautiful wooden carving of a goddess. This is from Crocodile wood.
A local guide explaining the different materials used.
Buddha wooden carving made from mahogany wood.
What’s amazing from these wooden art/statues is how detailed and beautiful they are, and how only 1 person will finish an entire piece from conception to the finished product.
Inside the Wooden furniture/Wooden statue shop were more amazing creations but pictures was not allowed. There were more than 200 wooden art inside, both human size, and small miniature-sized wooden art.
Last, we visited another temple, but I do not know the name of this temple. It is one which is close to Ubud. Here are some pictures from our last stop for Day 1 –
We are not Hindus or Buddhist but as a sign of respect, we use the prayer gesture when visiting the temple.
This caps of our tour for Day 1 in Bali 🙂
For the rest of the day, late afernoon onwards, Lars I relaxed in the resort 🙂 We stayed at Kunang-kunang guesthouse along Jl. Hanoman in Ubud.
For more of our experience, tips, and stories about Bali click HERE